CALGARY, AB -- When Craig Conroy strolled into the Flames TV headquarters on Thursday, the always-affable assistant to the general manager seemed to be smiling a bit brighter than usual.
"It's pretty great, isn't it?" he said, referring to the hiring of former teammate Martin Gelinas who was in the midst of an interview.
With Gelinas on board as the new Flames assistant coach, Conroy is finally getting the opportunity he's been waiting for since the duo played together.
"I've always wanted to work with Marty again. We've talked about it just in passing - how it would be nice to be on the same team one more time.
"When I heard he did have interest and he was coming in for the interview, I thought, 'This is going to be great.' ... I know what he's like and he's going to be a huge asset to the team."
Gelinas has spent the last few years as the Nashville Predators Director of Player Development, grooming prospects into NHLer's. Conroy saw Gelinas work with the Preds rookies first-hand when he was in Milwaukee with the Abbotsford Heat during the playoffs this year and he was thoroughly impressed.
"Marty was out there, putting them through their paces," he said. "That's when I thought, 'Marty, he looks pretty good out there.'
"He was a natural. It was a natural fit for him to be on the ice."
Conroy also pointed out that Gelinas will work very well with the veterans on the team given his experience as a player and his familiarity with captain Jarome Iginla.
"A guy like Jarome, who has huge respect for Marty. They're going to be able to work together day-in and day-out and just try to get better."